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Subject Verb Agreement Parenthetical Phrase

By 11 juli, 2023Okategoriserade2 min read

Subject-verb agreement is one of the fundamental rules of grammar that helps to ensure clarity and coherence in writing. The basic principle is simple: the subject and the verb in a sentence have to agree in number. In other words, if the subject is singular, the verb must also be singular. If the subject is plural, the verb must also be plural.

However, when a parenthetical phrase is included in a sentence, it can create confusion about subject-verb agreement. A parenthetical phrase is a group of words that interrupts the flow of a sentence to provide additional information. This information can be useful, but it can also complicate the sentence structure and make it more challenging to maintain subject-verb agreement.

The challenge arises because a parenthetical phrase is set off by commas and does not form part of the essential sentence structure. As a result, writers may forget to adjust the verb form to match the subject when there is a parenthetical phrase in between. For example:

– The team, including its coach, are on their way to the championship game.

In this sentence, the parenthetical phrase ”including its coach” interrupts the subject-verb agreement. The subject is ”the team,” which is singular, but the verb ”are” is plural, which makes the sentence incorrect. A correct version of the sentence would be:

– The team, including its coach, is on its way to the championship game.

Another example:

– Mary, as well as her siblings, is a talented musician.

The subject is Mary, which is singular, but the parenthetical phrase ”as well as her siblings” may confuse some writers into thinking that the subject is plural. However, the verb ”is” must remain singular to match the subject correctly.

Here are some tips to help maintain subject-verb agreement when using parenthetical phrases:

1. Identify the subject before and after the parenthetical phrase.

2. Make sure the verb agrees with the subject, not the parenthetical phrase.

3. If the subject is plural, the verb must also be plural, even though there is a parenthetical phrase in between.

4. Re-read the sentence after adding the parenthetical phrase to ensure subject-verb agreement.

In conclusion, parenthetical phrases can be useful additions to a sentence, but they can also create challenges for subject-verb agreement. As a professional, I recommend taking the time to identify the subject and verb correctly and re-reading the sentence to ensure clarity and coherence. By following these tips, you can ensure that your writing is grammatically correct and easy to read.